October 26, 2015

kudos affiliates! for november 2015


way to go Affiliates!


Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center (Solomons, MD) received a $15,000 grant from the Dominion Foundation, in support of the Children’s Discovery Garden & Nature Trail. The Children’s Garden will be natural play space and outdoor classroom where young guests will explore the ecology of the Chesapeake Bay with a particular focus on strategies to protect the Critical Area.

Through an approximately $7,000 Wisconsin Humanities Council grant, the Wisconsin Maritime Museum (Manitowoc, WI) created a Facing the River program. Facing the River features activities to teach kids about river history and ecology, including a now-and-then photo comparison, songs and storytelling from childrens performer David H.B. Drake, a travel brochure art project and samplings of local food.

Through a generous $1.13 million grant over three years from Dell, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science (Dallas, TX) has created a mobile innovation truck that will bring science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) learning to a broader and more diverse audience in the Dallas/Fort Worth region and beyond. The Perot Museum TECH Truck, powered by Dell, will provide more opportunities for the community to engage in museum experiences through free, out-of-school educational and interactive programs, including drop-in sessions and workshops, using no- and low-tech activities as well as high-tech experiences. The program is designed to reach people who – for a variety of reasons – do not or cannot engage with the Museum at its physical location.

After spending six weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list in 2015, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography” has been chosen by the members of the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association (MIBA) as a Midwest Booksellers Choice Award recipient for nonfiction. The South Dakota State Historical Society published Wilder’s account of her family’s pioneering experience last November.

The South Dakota State Historical Society’s museum director, Jay Smith, received the President’s Award for his service to the Mountain Plains Museums Association (MPMA). The President’s Award is a public recognition of those people, institutions or businesses that have contributed significantly in any capacity to the continued growth and success of the MPMA.

Framingham State University has been recognized for its efforts to support diversity and inclusion on campus with a Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award. The award is given by INSIGHT into Diversity, the oldest and largest diversity magazine and website in higher education today.


May 27, 2015

June 2015 kudos to Affiliates

Congrats to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments!


surfacing July 10-12, 2015!

surfacing July 10-12, 2015!

The Wisconsin Department of Tourism has given the Wisconsin Maritime Museum (Manitowoc, WI) a $39,500 grant for their first annual submarine festival, Sub Fest. The festival will be July 10-12.  During the festival, visitors will see a Naval Art Collection, film showings, and interactive exhibits. Sub Fest was created to celebrate the community’s ship building history and educate others about the area’s lasting legacy.

Union Station Kansas City Inc. (Kansas City, MO) announced a $360,000 gift from the Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation toward a $7.5 million expansion and improvement project. The initiative aims to modernize the streetscape around the station, add a bridge to connect cars and pedestrians to a parking garage and expand the Science City attraction inside Union Station.

The National Park Service announced the recipients of the National Maritime Heritage Grants including the following Affiliates:

Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT)  The Seaport received $199,806 to restore the 1908 steamboat Sabino, one of two surviving excursion steamers in the US and the only one on the East Coast.
USS Constitution Museum (Boston, MA)  The Museum received $50,000 to create a multi-media experience to welcome and introduce audiences to the history and significance of the USS Constitution.
Oklahoma Historical Society (Oklahoma City, OK)  The Society received $25,000 for the Discovery and Excavation of the Steamboat Heroine, an exhibit and education program on western steamboat travel and the history, discovery, and excavation of a western river steamboat.

The National Endowment of the Arts has awarded their Art Works and State and Regional Partnerships grant awards to the following Affiliate projects:

Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI) received $30,000 to support the Michigan Traditional Arts Apprenticeships and Heritage Awards Program.  The Arts Apprenticeship Program will support master artists in their instruction of apprentices in various traditional arts. The Heritage Awards Program will provide public recognition of the master artists and demonstrations/performances by the artist and apprentice teams at the Great Lakes Folk Festival.  A gallery in the MSU Museum and a website will provide information about the artists and traditions celebrated and perpetuated through these programs.
American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, MO) received $20,000 to support the 18th & Vine Jazz and Blues Festival. The one-day indoor and outdoor festival will feature ticketed performances by jazz and blues artists on multiple stages. Musical offerings are supplemented by educational programming including jazz storytelling, a workshop, and lectures. Additional accompanying project activities may include performance opportunities for local youth jazz ensembles and a public master class with the festival’s artist-in-residence.

a new exhibition in South Carolina, supported in part by the NEA

a new exhibition in South Carolina, supported in part by the NEA

Children’s Museum of the Upstate (Greenville, SC) received $15,000 to support a residency by Japanese anime artist Makoto Shinkai to coincide with the museum’s hosting of the exhibition Hello from Japan. The residency activities will include students from the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and will incorporate art-making workshops, lectures, and an anime film festival. The residency and the exhibition, organized by the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, will promote education about Japan’s anime tradition through direct engagement and learning.

The Hubbard Museum of the American West (Ruidoso Downs, NM) will present two touch screen interactive exhibits thanks to a $7,500 Hubbard Foundation grant. The award will be used to enhance the wagon exhibits and offer more detailed information to visitors.



Dr. Dennis A. Casey, educator at the Virginia Museum of Natural History (Martinsville, VA) was elected District VIII Director of the National Science Teachers Association.

The State of Connecticut named Mystic Seaport (Mystic,  CT) President Steve White the 2015 Tourism Leader of the Year. The award honors an individual who has made a singular contribution to the advancement of the tourism industry in Connecticut.



Kate Vengrove has been named interim director of Hunt Hill Farm Trust (New Milford, CT).

Amy Hollander has been named the new executive director at the National Museum of Industrial History (Bethlehem, PA).

March 31, 2014

kudos Affiliates! April 2014

Affiliates are bursting into spring with impressive awards and recognition. 


The National Civil War Museum (Harrisburg, PA) has received a $30,000 grant from the Kunkle-Rutherford Foundation to pay for upgrades to the museum’s galleries audio system.

The George Gund Foundation awarded a $150,000 grant to the Western Reserve Historical Society (Cleveland, OH) for the restoration and installation of the Euclid Beach Carousel at its University Circle facility.

Thanks to a $2,000 grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council, the Wisconsin Maritime Museum (Manitowoc, WI) will create four new guides on the Manitowoc River, focusing on a different facet of the river and its heritage.


Drumming at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix.

Drumming at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix.

Two Affiliates – California Science Center (Los Angeles) and Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix, AZ) – made the list of USA Today’s 20 Best Museums for Families across the USA.

As part of a marketing campaign planned for this spring, the Nebraska Tourism Commission surveyed Nebraskans and non-Nebraskans alike on what Nebraska attractions and events are the most iconic. The Strategic Air & Space Museum (Ashland, NE) came in at #7 and was the only state museum in the top-10.

Peter Aucella, assistant superintendent of Lowell National Historical Park (Lowell, MA) is the 2014 recipient of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Lowell’s Thomas G. Kelakos Community Spirit Award, which recognizes people who give back to the community.

The Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, ME) received the 2014 Maine Office of Tourism Leadership and Growth Award.

The Army Heritage Center Foundation (Carlisle, PA) announced that its education director, Jeff Hawks, will receive the Adler Friend of Education Award from the Pennsylvania State Education Association for his work as state coordinator for National History Day in Pennsylvania.

Students celebrate National History Day in Pennsylvania

Students celebrate National History Day in Pennsylvania

The Building Museums Symposium selected the Museum of History and Industry (Seattle, WA) as one of two museums to be awarded the 2014 Building Museums “Buildy” Award in recognition of their exemplary accomplishment in leading their institution through the challenging process of creating new museum space. The museum converted an historic Naval Armory building into museum space, while retaining the architectural integrity of the historic landmark.

The Antique Automobile Club of America Museum (AACAM in Hershey, PA) was recently awarded five NAMMY awards, bestowed by the National Association of Automobile Museums (NAAM) at their annual conference in California last week.  AACAM took home first place awards for Events & Public Promotion, Collateral Materials, and Interpretative Exhibits; and third place awards for Newsletters and Magazines, and Websites.  Mark Lizewskie, Executive Director of the AACAM, was also elected to the NAAM Board of Directors.


Congratulations to all!



January 25, 2013

kudos Affiliates! february 2013

2013 begins with success for our Affiliates!


Science Museum Oklahoma (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) announced the museum has been awarded a $12 million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation and plans to open a new exhibit area for young children. The new 21,000-square-foot exhibit space will be devoted to children between 3 and 6 years old. The museum also plans a new main entrance and lobby along with improved parking and updated landscaping.

Mystic Seaport (Mystic, Connecticut) was awarded a $100,000 grant by the Beagary Charitable Trust which the museum will use to create activities and learning tools for use in school, at the museum and online.  The funding will be used to develop educational programs to coincide with the completed restoration and 38th voyage of the museum’s 1841 whale ship, Charles W. Morgan. The designation will afford students across the state an opportunity to learn about Connecticut maritime history, the significance of the whaling industry and the importance of the state’s maritime heritage.

The Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, Michigan) received $750,000 as part of the investment in Detroit arts and culture from the Knight Foundation. The grant will enhance the annual Concert of Colors free global music festival, of which the museum is lead producer. In particular, the Knight funding will restore the summer festival’s annual Forum on Community, Culture & Race and help rebuild the Cultural Exchange Network of 50 arts groups that originally facilitated the Concert of Colors.

Pennsylvania Humanities Council recently funded a film and art series to complement “Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges,” at the National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). The exhibit focuses on the story of Jewish professors who fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s and found positions at historically black colleges and universities in the Jim Crow South.

The Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, California) received a $25,000 donation from Hyundai Motor America that will go toward the purchase of a bus to be used to provide free tours and art workshops to students from the Los Angeles area.

AAM Accreditation

The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) announced that 10 museums have been newly accredited and 13 museums earned re-accreditation at the November 2012 meeting of the Accreditation Commission. Accredited status from the Alliance is the highest national recognition achievable by an American museum. The following Affiliate museums were awarded accreditation.  Congratulations!

Executive Transitions

  • Smithsonian Affiliations would like to extend our best wishes to Robert Ellis, who served 35 years at The Air Zoo (Portage, Michigan).  Former Da Vinci Science Center executive director and CEO, Troy Thrash has been named new chief executive at The Air Zoo.
  • We bid a fond farewell to Paul Knappenberger  who served 22 years at the Adler Planetarium (Chicago, Illinois). Astrophysicist Michelle Larson has been named as the next president of the Adler.
  • Affiliations welcomes Mark Lizewskie, new executive director at the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum (Hershey, Pennsylvania).

October 23, 2011

kudos affiliates! november 2011

Nice going, Affiliates!

The Allegheny Regional Asset District board has proposed a $25,000 increase for the Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) in the upcoming 2012 budget. The increase is to oversee the operating for the Fort Pitt Museum.

The Wisconsin Maritime Museum (Manitowoc, Wisconsin) has received a $39,550 award through the Wisconsin Department of Tourism Joint Effort Marketing Grants to promote the fun that visitors can have when they come to Northeast Wisconsin.

The Museum of Nature & Science (Dallas, Texas) announced two $1-million challenge grants from Dallas-based Highland Capital Management, L.P., and Atmos Energy Corporation that will extend matching gift opportunities for the new $185 million Perot Museum to provide funding for site acquisition, exhibition planning and design, construction of the new building, education programs and an endowment.

The Rubin Museum of Art (New York, New York) announced that its founders, Shelley and Donald Rubin, had donated $25 million to help support operations, exhibitions and programs over the next five years.

August 25, 2011

SITES’ corner

By Ed Liskey, Senior Scheduling & Exhibitor Relations Coordinator, Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service

We’d like to share some of the great experiences Affiliate museums have had hosting SITES exhibitions this past summer.  When will you get your SITES on? 

Native Words, Native Warriors at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum

The Wisconsin Maritime Museum (Manitowoc, WI) is hosting SITES’ Native Words, Native Warriors, from July 23- October 2, 2011. It’s the remarkable story of Indian soldiers from more than a dozen tribes who used their Native languages in the service of the U.S. military.

Museum Educator Wendy Lutzke reports that the museum has made  interesting historical connections between the exhibition and its World War II submarine, the USS Cobia.  The Cobia is the largest artifact in the museum’s collection, and is moored right outside the gallery.  “While researching the history of the Code Talkers in the Pacific, intern Nick Oswald found that both the Code Talkers and the crew of the USS Cobia had a direct impact on the outcome of the battle of Iwo Jima.  Code Talkers revealed deceptive Japanese communications that mimicked those sent by the Allies, while the crew of the USS Cobia destroyed two Japanese vessels, one of which was carrying tanks intended for Iwo Jima.” 

Native Words, Native Warriors at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum

In September, the museum will feature Oneida Nation historian Loretta Metoxen, to speak on the Oneida’s contribution to the Code Talker Program.  A medal recognizing the Oneida individuals involved in the program will be struck by the U.S. Mint later this fall. 

The Charlotte Museum of History (Charlotte, NC) hosted SITES’ Becoming American:  Teenagers & Immigration exhibition April 23 – July 17, 2011, and visitors loved every minute of it.  Photographer Barbara Beirne’s images capture first-generation immigrants and children of immigrants, revealing a diverse array of teenage responses to the immigrant experience.

Becoming American installation at The Charlotte Museum of History

 Exhibits Manager Lee Goodan reported that “the Museum actively works to engage the diverse community of the Charlotte/Mecklenburg region, home to many immigrants from other areas of the world and transplants from around the country. The stories of Becoming American reflect the diverse make-up of the area, and provide compelling examples of finding identity with migration. As we explore the theme of home within our institution, this exhibition illustrated the challenges and opportunities of finding and remembering ‘home.’ The focus on teenagers provided us the opportunity to create a successful program for high school students. Based on visitor feedback, the content resonated with our visitors who identified with the stories or found the exhibition insightful on a topic with which they were not personally familiar.”

Becoming American high school program at The Charlotte Museum of History

 Ms. Goodan continued:  “It was an excellent exhibition- compelling, thought-provoking, and directly presented. The primary strength of the exhibition was that it seemed to be very effective at evoking responses- either intellectual or emotional- from visitors. Based on comments left in the exhibition response book, we received more comments of a personal or substantive nature than usual. Some included political or social commentary, some shared personal experience with immigration, and some simply noted that they had been touched or affected by the stories.”

Farmers, Warriors, Builders a the South Florida Museum

The South Florida Museum and Parker Manatee Aquarium (Bradenton, FL) is currently hosting Farmers, Warriors, Builders:  The Hidden Life of Ants, on view through October 9, 2011.  More than 140 guests got buggy with entomology family fun on Saturday, August 6 at a “Family Night” program at the museum.  Hands-on crafts, a cartoon movie about the critters, and a scavenger hunt through the museum including the Farmers, Warriors, Builders exhibition all made the event a huge hit.

The museum team is thrilled about another exhibition-related event with Dr. Mark Moffett, the world-renowned ant expert, award-winning photographer, and Smithsonian Research Associate whose work is featured in the exhibition.  On September 29, he will present “Adventures Among Ants: A Global Safari with a Cast of Trillions” based on his newest book of the same title. “We are thrilled to bring such a witty, experienced, renowned scientist and real-life adventurer to our community,” said Brynne Anne Besio, Executive Director. “This fascinating exhibition and the chance to meet Dr. Moffett represent such a unique opportunity for our members and the general public to learn from a modern-day explorer.”

Please visit our website to learn more about all of our exhibitions that will help you get your SITES on.

The Affiliate flag in the Becoming American installation at the Charlotte Museum of History




June 29, 2011

SITES in your neighborhood this summer!

Smithsonian Affiliates across the country are bringing Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) exhibitions to their communities this summer. Here’s what’s opening at an Affiliate in the coming months:  

Marine radio messengers on their way to Okinawa, Japan, 1945. Left to right: Private First Class Joe Hosteen Kelwood (Navajo), Steamboat Canyon, AZ; Pvt. Floyd Saupitty (Comanche), Lawton, OK; and Private First Class Alex Williams (Navajo), Leupp, AZ. Courtesy U.S. Marine Corps.

July 23 – October 2, 2011
Wisconsin Maritime Museum (Manitowoc, Wisconsin)
Native Words, Native Warriors
Native Words, Native Warriors
tells the remarkable story of Indian soldiers from more than a dozen tribes who used their Native languages in the service of the U.S. military. Developed with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, this inspiring exhibition was made possible in part thanks to the generous support of Elizabeth Hunter Solomon. Additional support has been provided by the Smithsonian Women’s Committee and the AMB Foundation.

July 30 – October 9, 2011
South Florida Museum and Parker Manatee Aquarium (Bradenton, Florida)
Farmers, Warriors, Builders: The Hidden Life of Ants
Small yet abundant, with complex and wildly diverse lifestyles, ants are everywhere, living lives mostly hidden from our view. What if we could see into their world…on their level? What would we learn? What parallels could we draw between them and us? Now, with the aid of a macro lens and the insights of ant expert and photographer Dr. Mark Moffett, SITES and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History present the world of ants.

August 13 – October 16, 2011
The Charlotte Museum of History (Charlotte, North Carolina)
Singgalot: (The Ties That Bind) Filipinos in America, from Colonial Subjects to Citizens
After tracing the first trans-oceanic trade missions between Manila and Acapulco in the 1500s, Singgalot explores the tenuous political relationship between the United States and the Philippines, when Spain ceded the Pacific-island following the Spanish-American War. Rarely seen historical images detail Filipino migration between 1906 and 1935 as Hawai’i sugar plantations, West Coast farms, and Alaskan canneries recruited Asians to join the labor force. When the U.S. government sounded the call to arms in the 1940s, Filipino immigrants answered, serving as infantrymen and earning respect from a grateful nation. Nearly 20 years later, the 1965 Immigration Act hastened a third major wave of Filipinos who would champion major changes in gender equality and class in the Filipino American community and make significant contributions to the fight for civil rights.

Singglot documents the achievements of contemporary Filipino Americans. In 2000, Navy Captain Eleanor “Connie” Mariano, Medical Corps, was promoted to Rear Admiral, the highest military rank occupied by a Filipino American. Courtesy Filipinas Magazine.

Find a Smithsonian Affiliate in your neighborhood here.
Find more Smithsonian traveling exhibitions and programs

Older Posts »



site designed by - ivey doyal